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Type: Theses
Title: Confronting the dark
Author: Rees, Karen M.
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: “Confronting the Dark” is a creative writing thesis comprised of two interrelated parts: Volume 1: The Art of Dying, a novel; and Volume 2: “Representations of death in Australian fiction,” an exegesis. In the novel, Gerard, the main character, is dying. As a consequence of his imminent death, he begins to focus on both the trauma of his early years and the great love he feels privileged to have experienced. The exegesis describes how the practice of writing about death led to a critical inquiry into various philosophies of death that have been of interest to writers, as well as the transformation of the Western approach to death over the past few centuries, brought about by modernity. It presents a case study of two Australian novels, Helen Garner’s The Spare Room (2008), and Patrick White’s The Vivisector (1970). I discuss the writing of my own novel in light of the reflexive agency required for creative writing research and in terms of creative writing habitat, the creative domain, activities of writing, and the artefact. I conclude that writing about death occurs for primarily existential reasons. Writers are asking questions about how human beings feel about their impending death, how they cope with life goals and the possibility of unfinished business, and how the death of the other affects the lives of those who remain.
Advisor: Castro, Brian
Rutherford, Jennifer
Treagus, Mandy
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2017.
Keywords: creative writing
Australian literature
Helen Garner
Patrick White
writing about death
creative writing research
Description: Vol. 1 [Novel] The Art of Dying -- Vol. 2 [Exegesis] Representations of death in Australian fiction
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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File Description SizeFormat 
01front.pdfVolume 1143.31 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02whole.pdfVolume 2848.07 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03front.pdfExegesis132.25 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04whole.pdfExegesis550.27 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
PermissionsPublished version354.53 kBPublished versionView/Open
RestrictedPublished version1.35 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

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